T Nation

Nursing Question


Hopefully Derek can help out.

Other than the extra training and opportunity for advancement what are other differences between having a 2 year vs 4 yr nursing degree? What is finding a job like?


Like anything else, a 4 year will allow you to move up in hospital management. Will allow you to go to Masters if you want.

As far as training, its pretty much the same, as far as care its pretty much the same.

You are more marketable with a BSN.


As a fly on the wall in health care for the past 5 years I can testify that this is true. The difference in pay and opportunity is huge, not to mention the social dynamics. In the hospital chain I work at there are probably as many "nurses" walking around in business suits as there are caring for patients.


The advantage to 2 year is that with your ADN you get out in the field right away. Some colleges allow you to finish your BSN online (the bs part of nursing) - which is what I'll be doing. But yes - if you want to go on for your masters or FNP or CRNA then you'll need dat BS. Get A's - graduate schools are particular about that.


I did not get a lot of As was solid B student no excuse but I did work 60 hours a week during undergrad. I did better on my GRE so had no problem getting in grad school. This was 14 years ago now when I got in so things may be different.

I also agree about the ADN vs BSN it needs to be according to situation in life.


This is Mrs. (Dr.) Jewbacca.

I would go for the 4 year degree for the reasons mentioned, but also because you can go on from there to other things -- e.g., medical school if you are an idiot like me, or to get into a nurse practitioner position, which I think is really the growth area for a lot of primary care treatment (because primary care docs don't make any money for the amount of schooling they have to do and move on to specialties).


Thanks for the replies.

Even if one is planning on getting a 4 yr degree is there an advantage to the 2 yr degree in that you can begin your career/earning money while you transfer or do 4 yr degrees give a license before actually finishing?


That was essentially the gist of my post, and is what I'm doing right now. Look into the requirements for your state and school of choice- make sure the 2 yr credits will all apply to your bsn


My brothers girlfriend just got her two year and she said most places want you to have a four year degree now and it's really hard to find a job with just the two. Which is why she said she is going for the bachelors now.


Go 4 year. I keep hearing rumors that the trend is to drop 2 year programs altogether.


If you can swing the time and get into an affordable program, I'd go for the four year for a few reasons.

-In my area (NYC/NJ area) most major hospital systems don't hire associate degree nurses anymore. And they want their current nurses with 2 year degrees to go back for their BSN. Given that even most community hospitals have been bought out by big names in my area, you won't be get into acute care with a 2 year now in my area.

-Rehab, primary, and nursing homes around me hire associates. Pay is substantially less compared to acute care in my area (usually at least 8 to 10 dollars an area).

-Programs in my area advertise as 2 year, but don't include the basic requirements in its schedule. So for most people I know who took 2 year programs, they ended up in school for the 3 to 4 year run to finish the requirements then the nursing program itself.

-If you end up moving to management, you will need at least a BSN if not a masters. You can eventually get there with a 2 year, but the road will be much longer.